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Published: Saturday, 7/23/2011

OFFERINGS

Obama urged to protect hungry, poor in debt talks

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON — A group of national Christian leaders met with President Obama on Wednesday to urge him to protect programs for the hungry and poor when making decisions on the deficit and debt.

“As Christian leaders, we are committed to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice,” the group said in a statement. “We are also committed to resist budget cuts that undermine the lives, dignity, and rights of poor and vulnerable people. Therefore, we join with others to form a circle of protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.”

President Obama agreed that the sacrifices to reduce the deficit must not be borne by the “least of these.”

The leaders who met with the President are signatories to the Circle of Protection, a nonpartisan statement signed by more than 60 heads of Christian denominations and religious organizations.

The delegation included representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; the National Association of Evangelicals; Bread for the World; Jim Wallis of Sojourners; the National African American Clergy Network; the Salvation Army; the Alliance to End Hunger, and the National Council of Churches of Christ USA.

Campus Crusade for Christ renamed Cru
ORLANDO, Fla. — Campus Crusade for Christ, which marks its 60th anniversary this year, is changing its name in the United States to Cru.

The change, to be implemented early next year, aims to “overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name,” according to a statement from the nonprofit’s headquarters.

Vonette Bright, who co-founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951 with her husband, the late Bill Bright, was involved in the name-change process and said her husband “was open to changing our name” from the start and “never felt it was set in stone.”

Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ, said calling the organization Cru “meets our objective of achieving a greater level of effectiveness in ministry.”

Cru was selected from 1,600 potential names and has been used informally by members in referring to the ministry since at least the mid-1990s.

Goshen professor to talk on historic peace churches
ARCHBOLD — Steven Nolt, author and history professor at Goshen College, will speak on “Mennonites, Amish, and the Civil War” Monday at Sauder Heritage Inn.

Mr. Nolt will talk about how members of the historic peace churches sought to avoid participation in the military based on their Christian convictions.

The free lecture, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is the third in a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

More information is available online at saudervillage.org or by calling 419-446-2541 or 800-590-9755.

Toledoan’s choral work is premiered at convention
ANN ARBOR — A choral setting composed by Toledoan Chris J. Zervos had its premiere earlier last week at the 65th annual convention of the Mideastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians.

The new choral setting of the St. John Chrysostom Divine Liturgy is a musical dialogue between a chanting priest and his congregation, represented by a choir.

The work was presented during the July 14-17 conference by a 120-voice choir assembled from seven states.

Christian concert to aid Joplin tornado victims
JOPLIN, Mo. — An estimated 15,000 people are expected to attend Restore Fest, an all-day Christian concert featuring numerous artists and groups, scheduled for Friday at Landreth Park in this tornado-devastated city.

The lineup includes Hawk Nelson, Mercy Me, Mandisa, and Phil Joel.

People from around the country are buying tickets for $10 and donating them to Joplin residents who could use a break from recovery efforts following the May 22 twister, which claimed 159 lives.

Singer Michael W. Smith is offering to make a matching gift on all tickets purchased in the Joplin area Thursday.

Proceeds from the festival will go to the Christian nonprofit organizations Samaritan’s Purse and Convoy of Hope, which have been working in Joplin since the tornado. Information: restorefest.com.



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